aThis is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I will focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!
The Big Picture of Romans:
Romans is the first of a series of letters we find in the New Testament. Paul (the author of Romans) and others would write letters to individuals or groups to encourage them. As the good news of Jesus began to spread there wasn’t enough of Paul or other disciples to be in all the places. These letters kept helped guide the early church. While each letter had an initial intended audience (the Church in Rome in this case), they were often circulated around to many cities and many churches.
In the first chapter we see one huge purpose in writing this specific letter was to tell those in Rome that they had been chosen and loved by Jesus and that the good news was not just for Jews, but for all who believe (1:5-6). Throughout the rest of the book, Paul lays out what have become the basics of faith: our sin and need for a Savior, the fact that Jesus paid the price for us, how God’s Spirit helps us live a life of obedience, and the promise of eternal life with Jesus for those who believe. If I could sum up the whole book in one short phrase it would be this: GOOD NEWS!
Basic Outline of Romans:
- Chapters 1-4 – Focuses on our inability to live “right with God” (a righteous life) and our need for justification and forgiveness through faith
- Chapters 5-8 – Tells us that justification is both a reality right now and something we hope for… that one day we really will be completely right before God
- Chapters 9-11 – We see Paul’s sorrow that so many don’t believe this good news
- Chapter 12-16 – Explain how this good news can impact our every day life
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book or books each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse per book. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.
- “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
REFLECTION: In what ways are you tempted to conform to the patterns of this world? How might a new way of thinking about those things help you determine God’s will?
- “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
REFLECTION: What other ways have you witnessed God demonstrate His love fo ryou lately?
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
REFLECTION: Spend some time in confession. Then, spend some time praising God for the free gift of grace that restores our relationship because of Jesus.
Some Other Resources:
- The Bible Project summary video of Romans 1-4
- The Bible Project summary video of Romans 5-16
- A Pinterest board with resources and pictures for Romans
- The 66 in 52 Schedule and Tracking Sheet
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!